Bermuda Extends COVID-19 Curfew

Bermuda David Burt
David Burt

The Bermuda government has extended COVID-19 restrictions through the holidays after a surge in coronavirus cases continued to impact the island.

The restrictions – including an 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew and orders for bars and restaurants to close at 10 p.m. – were scheduled to end on December 22, but will now continue until January 4, officials announced.

Premier David Burt reintroduced the curfew last week after the island logged 86 new cases of the coronavirus in six days.

Burt told Thursday night’s media briefing that some minor changes to the curfew may be announced next week, but the extension was needed to slow the “frightening“ spike in cases, now numbering 500.

He said the measures introduced to slow the spread of infection were working and, although the number of new cases was still high, the figure had started to fall again.

Burt also announced that unemployment benefit payments for those affected by the restrictions will also be extended for a further two weeks.

Finance Minister Curtis Dickinson said earlier that 50 staff at bars, nightclubs and members’ clubs who lost their jobs because of the restrictions should get their benefits from the government this week. He said a further 110 applications for help were still being assessed.

Dickinson said the emergency payments would be for a maximum of US$500 a week. At the height of the pandemic, the government paid out close to $60 million in benefits to 10,000 unemployed workers, including 2,000 expatriates.

National Security Minister Renee Ming said there were confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in the prison service, but could not say how many there were and declined to say if they were in the prisons themselves.

Minister of Health Kim Wilson said 12 new cases were among 1,397 new test results that came back to health officials on Thursday.

One was the result of on-island transmission from a known contact and the other 11 were under investigation, bringing the total under investigation to 88, up from 81 on Wednesday.

The results brought the number of confirmed cases in Bermuda to 497 — up from 222 less than five weeks ago — and the number of active cases to 227.

Three patients are in hospital, but none is in critical condition.

A total of 261 patients have recovered and nine have died — the last in May.

Wilson said that among the more recent cases, 25 patients were aged 18 or younger.

Another positive case involved an unnamed member of the crew of a British Airways flight from London that brought new Governor Rena Lalgie to the island.

CMC

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1 COMMENT

  1. Maybe you should add to the article that Bermuda had enjoyed 0 local spread cases for 5 months until the premier decided to reduce arrivals quarantine from 14 days to less the 24 hours. Visitors now entering Bermuda with a pre-arrival test 5 days before arrival date and no restrictions to movement in those 5 days can arrive take a test. If negative can go anywhere but the interior of a restaurant. They can go to patios of restaurants and bars, as well as interior of restaurant if in hotel. They are allowed to go to shopping indoors or any public setting and attend functions if outdoors. Since the rule change Bermuda has 4 times the amount of infections and 4 times the highest active infections of Covid since it started.
    The government was praised for it’s handling of first wave and upon recognition held a snap elections in which another cannot be held for 2 years. Immediately after they won on back of restrictions they changed them because they wanted to host a golf tournament and rugby tournament with guarantees that members of government personal interest accommodations would be first booked in all events. They also changed the rule very quietly. 90% of Bermudians were unaware of the change until news ran a story about the government spending millions in advertising tourism with the rules. 90% of Bermudians want the rule change and all the government has responded with is changing the classification from Mobile Quarantine to Travelers Rules.
    Bermuda also shut down completely at around 40 cases in first wave and never saw number active over 63. Right now Premier David Burt is using the US approach of things with a partial business restrictins and is blaming the public for spread stating “It has nothing to do with traveler rules. It is Bermudians not following the rules that are causing the return of virus”. This a day after he also said that people have to realize it can take 10 days before being able to test positive… that in itself is an admission that traveler rules do not work!
    David Burt and his immediate government will keep putting Bermuda in harms way for their own profit. Every action in the past 2 months by the Government has nothing to do with protecting the majority of citizens on this island. And any death that comes from it should be squarely on their shoulders. And that is how the majority of Bermudians feel right now.
    If it was possible to hold a second election the PLP that just won a record majority would be lucky to get a single seat.

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